A human-sized robot named DRC-HUBO has won 1st place in the finals of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Robotics Challenge. Created in 2012 in response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Robotics Challenge pits teams against each other in the construction of robots designed to work in disaster zones.
DRC-HUBO, whose name is derived from "HUmanoid roBOt," was an entry submitted by PhD students, masters and doctors from South Korea.
Distinctively anthropoid, the robot is 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) tall and weighs 80 kilograms (176 pounds). It completed a challenging eight-obstacle course in 44 minutes and 22 seconds, beating 22 other robo-contestants in Pomona, California, and winning the composite team $2 million (£1,286,752).
“Bipedal walking [for robots] is not very stable yet,” told Jun Ho Oh, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology who led the winning team, to IEEE Spectrum. “One single thing goes wrong, the result is catastrophic.”
Check out this compilation video of the less agile contenders.
[H/T Washington Post]